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Absence and NothingThe Philosophy of What There is Not$
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Stephen Mumford

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780198831532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198831532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 January 2022

Negative Truth

Negative Truth

(p.147) 9 Negative Truth
Absence and Nothing

Stephen Mumford

Oxford University Press

Truths are supposed to be made true by something that exists, such as a fact, according to truthmaker theory. What, though, of apparent truths concerning what is not the case? How can they be made true by something that is? This paradox of negative judgement has been re-articulated by Molnar. We must either meet his challenge, of identifying the positive truthmakers for the negative truths, or we must reject at least one of the premises that jointly entailed that there were such truthmakers. Attempts to solve this problem have all failed. Candidate positive truthmakers usually rely on smuggling in some negative aspect. It also looks difficult to reject any of Molnar’s premises since doing so comes at a seemingly high price. At present, this problem remains unresolved.

Keywords:   truth, truthmakers, paradox of negative judgement, George Molnar, exclusion, totality facts, variation dependence

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